Lip lines are a common concern that can affect adults of all ages. Most often, it is a problem that women wish to address. These lines are usually quite fine, and yet they are nearly impossible to ignore. This is because the mouth is a central feature of the face. Lip lines can also become more noticeable when they collect lipstick, making them appear more prominent. Having lip lines can decrease one’s sense of self-esteem. They can make it impossible to wear lipstick, or at least feel good while doing so. Though small, lip lines also make the face look older. This doesn’t have to be. We have more knowledge now about what causes lip lines, so we know how to slow them down and also how to smooth them as needed to maintain a more youthful, attractive appearance.
What Causes Lip Lines
Lip lines are just one of those frustrating signs of aging. They are primarily caused by chemical changes in the skin that speed up as we get older. These changes are the depletion of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Collagen is a firming protein. Elastin is a chemical that gives the skin its stretch and ability to bounce back. Hyaluronic acid is a chemical that binds to water molecules to hold moisture where it is needed, including the skin. Soon after age twenty, the body slows down its production of these necessary chemicals. When this happens, the body is less successful at combating the other factors that contribute to wrinkles. These include:
- There may be no other area of the face that moves as much as the mouth. The lips and surrounding skin are stretched and moved when we chew, speak, laugh, kiss, drink through a straw, and perform other motions. We cannot stop moving the mouth, so this factor is beyond our control.
- Sun exposure. The sun contains ultraviolet light. Studies have shown that ultraviolet light breaks down collagen. Therefore, when we go outdoors, rain or shine, we must wear an SPF lip balm to complement the SPF sunscreen we apply to the skin.
- Volume loss. Without sufficient hyaluronic acid, the lips gradually deflate. Where there is less contour, there are more lines.
Treating Lip Lines
In addition to taking good care of the skin on and around the lips with daily and weekly practices, it may be necessary to see a dermatologist for professional treatments. At Westerville Dermatology, patients have options for addressing lip lines and other signs of aging. These include:
- Botox to smooth dynamic wrinkles
- Dermal fillers to smooth lines and restore optimal lip volume
- Microneedling for collagen stimulation
- Microdermabrasion for accelerated cellular turnover and collagen stimulation
- And more!